ANOTHER DEADLINE DUD
Danny Picard weighs in on the Celtics.
The Celtics were either going to be buyers or do nothing before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. As it turns out, they did nothing before 3 p.m. ET, meaning they’ll keep all their picks and leave the roster intact through the end of the season.
While I’m not thrilled, I’m also not about to jump on my soapbox and call for Danny Ainge’s head. An initial reaction of disappointment is normal, considering all the big names that have been thrown around in trade rumors the last few weeks. That type of post-deadline emotion would also be the product of knowing how good this current group of Celtics have played, and the amount of assets that the organization currently has. Whether it be players whose trade value will never be higher, or more draft picks than he knows what to do with, Ainge could have gone crazy on Thursday if he really wanted to. And I was all about doing something crazy. But it had to be a “good crazy.”
Nobody’s happier than me that Ainge didn’t trade the 2016 Nets first-round draft pick in a three-team deal that would have landed Kevin Love. Like Love, I also didn’t understand why Blake Griffin’s name was a popular trade topic. Seeing contending teams like the Cavaliers and Clippers think about trading players like Love and Griffin tells me more about those players than anything else. Wouldn’t you want to add something at the deadline to build around those guys and try to win now?
My idea of “good crazy” would have been sending a king’s ransom to the Kings for DeMarcus Cousins, or convincing the Rockets that they’d get a much better return if James Harden was made available instead of Dwight Howard. Speaking of Howard, I’m smiling just thinking about the fact that he won’t be coming to Boston. But I do feel there was a three-team deal to be made with the Rockets and Hawks, involving Al Horford.
I was never giving up the Brooklyn pick for Horford, but here’s a trade for you: Houston receives David Lee, Tiago Splitter, Jared Sullinger, and the Celtics’ 2016 first-round pick; Atlanta receives Dwight Howard and the Mavericks’ 2016 first-round pick (via Celtics); and Boston receives Horford. The money works. It satisfies every team’s needs and reasonable demands under its respective circumstances. Why couldn’t something like this have gone down on Thursday?
Regardless, the Celtics are in a good spot right now. There’s still time to move some of their assets and become buyers this summer. So for that reason, I can’t call for Ainge’s head. But don’t blame me for being disappointed.
The Celtics’ long-term focus now shifts to the 2016 NBA Draft, where LSU’s Ben Simmons is expected to go No. 1 overall. GETTY IMAGES